RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine has proposed legislation to improve the quality and accountability of education and training for veterans and members of the military.

Kaine, a Democrat and former governor of Virginia, outlined the legislation Friday at a veterans’ breakfast in Winchester and at another stop at the University of Richmond.

The Servicemember Education Reform and Vocational Enhancement Act, or SERVE, is intended to address high unemployment and low graduation rates for veterans and active military who served in Afghanistan and Iraq, despite $30 billion invested in GI Bill benefits since 9/11.

“Access to high-quality education and job training is the best tool we can provide to our nation’s veterans as they return home and transition into civilian life,” Kaine said in a statement.

SERVE increases minimum standards for programs and institutions accepting education benefits from the departments of Veterans Affairs and Defense, such as standards that apply for Pell Grants, among others.

Among its provisions, SERVE would:

— Raise the bar on minimum standards that educational institutions must meet to ensure military personnel and veterans are getting a quality education.

— Require that institutions educating or training veterans or active military to provide access to academic or career counseling, to prepare them for future careers.

— Provide better oversight, such as tracking complaints, to ensure the greatest return on investment in the federal programs.

(© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)



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